Senate's Longest-Serving Democrat Is Retiring

Vermont's Patrick Leahy won't run for re-election
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2021 10:00 AM CST
Senate's Longest-Serving Democrat Is Retiring
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., won't run again.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool, File)

The longest-serving Democratic senator is calling it quits. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont said Monday that he won't run for re-election next year, reports Politico. "It is time to pass the torch to the next Vermonter who will carry on this work for our great state," the 81-year-old told reporters. "It's time to come home." Leahy has served since 1975 and is currently third in line to the presidency, after the vice president and House speaker, in his capacity as president pro tempore of the Senate. He would have been running for his ninth term.

Leahy didn't go into detail about why now is the right time to retire, though NBC News notes that he was briefly hospitalized earlier this year. Given Democrats' razor-thin hold on the majority, any further absences could affect what the party can do. The Hill expects a "bruising" Democratic primary to ensue, noting that, so far, no Republican candidate has surfaced in the typically blue state. (Bernie Sanders is the "junior" senator at age 80.) The Washington Post calls attention to an odd footnote to Leahy's career: He's a huge Batman fan and has made cameos in five movies. "Doing the right thing is more for others than yourself" is a lesson from Bruce Wayne that many in DC should learn, he has said. (Read more Patrick Leahy stories.)

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